It’s hard to say that 2022 has been the year of ecommerce so far. Looking at all the stats, frankly one might even say quite the opposite.
According to the latest Mastercard SpendingPulse report, ecommerce transactions have declined 1.8% from a year ago, while in-store sales rose 10%. From another perspective, research showed that on average, the online share of total spending rose sharply, from 10.3% in 2019 to 14.9% at the peak of the pandemic. But then it fell to 12.2% in 2021. Add the increasing CPC costs at all sorts of paid advertisement channels and harsher competition to that, and you get a not-so-rosy outlook for the market altogether.
Long story short, it’s getting harder and harder to bring shoppers to your store, so it makes a lot of sense to make the most out of what’s already in hand in an efficient and effective way. The ultimate approach that smart ecommerce companies follow in that regard is automation.
The power of ecommerce automation is typically two-fold. On one hand, ecommerce automation saves a ton of time compared to manual ways of executing an operation. On another, it may even enable a nonexistent infeasible process, i.e. a process that’s unthinkable in a manual way but can provide an unprecedented growth opportunity to companies when automated.
In this piece, I’ll walk you through eight key ecommerce automation areas and strategies and will share expert tips that can and already do drive sustainable and profitable growth for companies of all sizes from all around the world, and I’ll explain why automating those bits of an ecommerce process matters.
“Advertising automation is vital if you want to maximize ROAS and stay competitive. Adding automation to your digital marketing strategy enables you to manage and optimize important ad elements such as bids, keywords and ad text in real time to ensure your campaigns are always tweaked to get the best results for the least amount of spend. Stores can increase their sales by 470% in a year using automated Facebook and Google Ads for ecommerce.”
- Eyal Reich, StoreYa
“Email marketing for ecommerce businesses is, without a doubt the most cost-effective way to advertise. What’s even better is you can automate 80% of it, for example setting up emails that get automatically sent out when a visitor to your site does something like adds an item to their cart and leaves without purchasing.”
- Iain Calvert, Boom Ecommerce
“Product prices are revised numerous times during their lifecycle, either to respond to the competition or adapt to market-wide price movements like inflation and supply-side shortages. Imagine the workload you need to put in just to track these changes and add the effort of repricing. Pricing automation can help you to spare that wasted time and put it into meaningful work such as operational excellence and customer service — the work that would help you to grow efficiently and turn more visitors into customers without leaving money on the table.”
- Türker Yiğitalp, Prisync
“Reviews are key to converting your shop’s visitors. Over 90% of them want to read reviews before purchase; however, only 4% of people leave reviews when asked! There are ways to bring it to over 10% to 12% — you need to ask people at the right time (after delivery), ask them repeatedly, and offer coupons or loyalty points in exchange for writing a review to incentivize them to write reviews. Numerous apps on Shopify like Opinew can help you fully automate that process.”
- Tomasz Sadowski, Opinew
“Every product experiences some form of word-of-mouth marketing. The question is how to track this channel and effectively scale up efforts to grow the customer base more efficiently, and that’s where referral automation programs come in. Referrals are trustworthy brand awareness channels with low customer acquisition costs (CAC) and sustainable, organic ways to acquire customers. In fact, 54% of people say that referral programs have a lower cost-per-lead than other channels, which is crucial considering the growing CAC of the paid channels.”
“Consumers are clear on expectations from ecommerce businesses. 76% of consumers say convenience is a key priority when selecting a retailer, so an automated inventory management process is a critical component of any growing ecommerce business’ success. Automation provides efficiency by consolidating your backend processes and therefore improves the customer experience. There are multiple benefits to implementing a good inventory and order management system; one benefit is avoiding stockouts and preventing overselling across sales channels so customer expectations are met and even exceeded.”
- Callum Campbell, Linnworks
“In 2021, 20.8% of online purchases were returned — up from 18.1% in 2020 and likely to keep climbing. Returns in ecommerce are inevitable, but utilizing an automated returns solution makes it simple to turn them into a positive experience. Automation solutions like Return Rabbit help convert more returns to exchanges, upsell with smart recommendations and save customer service time and money. More repeat buyers and more loyal customers = good ROI!”
- Cheryl Williams, Return Rabbit
“On average, the cart abandonment rate across the globe is 69.7%. This means for every 100 visitors, 69% of visitors will leave the store during the checkout process. Mobile users are most likely to leave the website if they find any issues with payment processing. If you are an ecommerce business that gets hundreds of orders every day, it is impossible to monitor all the issues in real-time and take action. Automating incident monitoring helps you identify UX, cart, checkout or payment problems in real time and save you lots of time and money.”
- Ahmet Soybelli, Millimetric.ai
Burc Tanir is the CEO of Prisync, the competitor price tracking and dynamic pricing software for all sizes of ecommerce companies from all around the world. Also known as “the E-Commerce Pricing Guy”, he shares his thoughts on ecommerce, pricing and all sorts of automation technologies across various social media platforms such as Linkedin and Twitter.